The Saugatuck Nursery School is set to relocate to a new temporary home at First Church of Christ, Scientist on Compo Road South, after receiving approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The nursery school was displaced from its home at Saugatuck Congregational Church on Post Road East after a fire last November destroyed the rear section of the house of worship where the school was housed. Since early December, the nursery school has operated at the Westport Weston Family Y, a few blocks from Saugatuck Congregational. The P&Z approved the move last week.

Saugatuck Nursery School Director Ellen DeHuff said she plans for the school to relocate to First Church of Christ, Scientist by the first week of March.

"I think it's going to be wonderful for us," DeHuff said. "The church has a beautiful building; it's very light and airy."

The Saugatuck Nursery School will occupy about 1,600 square feet in two rooms at First Church of Christ, Scientist. One room will be used for 2-year-old students, while the other will be used by the school's 3- and 4-year-olds.

"We really wanted to help out during this time of need," said Jeff Read, a First Church of Christ, Scientist member who serves on several of the church's committees. "It was a tragic fire. We're very glad that we're able to provide a home for the nursery school."

Before the November fire, the nursery school had been housed at Saugatuck Congregational since its opening in 1968.

About 35 students attend the nursery school. Most of the pupils come from Westport, but others are from Weston, Fairfield and Norwalk.

DeHuff said she hopes the nursery school will remain at First Church of Christ, Scientist until space becomes available again at Saugatuck Congregational after renovations.

Saugatuck Congregational leaders are still assessing the damage from the November fire and have not yet determined a timetable for the return of services and classes to the church's 180-year-old house of worship on Post Road East, said Saugatuck Congregational Church spokeswoman Mary Ann West. Since the fire, the church's Sunday services have been held at Temple Israel on Coleytown Road.

"It's been a tough few months for us, but the children are doing wonderfully," DeHuff said. "We're very thankful for all the community support we've received."

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